Post-election rioting in Jakarta claims six, 20 provocateurs arrested

Post-election rioting in Jakarta claims six, 20 provocateurs arrested

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Some six people died as protests took a violent turn in the Tanah Abang area of Central Jakarta from Tuesday evening to early Wednesday, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan stated here on Wednesday.

Tensions exacerbated after anti-riot police securing the Elections Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) in Jakarta's Central Business District (CBD) forcibly dispersed several hundred sympathizers of the People's Sovereignty National Movement holding a peaceful rally.

The protestors clashed, as they alleged massive fraud in the presidential elections whose final result was officially declared by the General Elections Commission (KPU) at a plenary session on early Tuesday (May 21).

Jakarta Governor Baswedan was quoted by Elshinta Radio as saying that thorough investigation was necessary to find what had truly transpired on Tuesday evening and early Wednesday in a bid to to solve the problem.

He also appealed to all societal elements to cooperate, so that the political process can be conducted through legal procedures rather than through rioting on the street.

"I also appeal to security personnel to see to those looking to express their views as citizens. Please adhere to all procedures. The objective is to protect the people. Let us exercise self-restraint and maintain a peaceful situation," he informed Elshinta Radio.

It was also reported that the Indonesian police had arrested no less than 20 people on grounds of inciting crowds to run riot in the Tanah Abang area, Central Jakarta, from Tuesday evening to early Wednesday.

"The provocateurs came from outside Jakarta. The Central Jakartra Metropolitan Police have now detained them, pending questioning," National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo stated.

Prasetyo noted that the police had earlier cautioned of "third parties" looking to further their devious plans through the mass protest.  

"Hence, we call on community members to not become provoked," he stated.

Speaking in connection with a video widely circulating on different social media platforms showing the finding of bullet shell casings in the riot, Prasetyo was uncertain whether they were of the police.

Prasetyo noted that in spite of the fact that the policemen securing the Bawaslu building were unarmed, the police had still checked the video content.

"The policemen are not equipped with weapons and sharp bullets to secure the mass protest," he stated.

On early May 21, at 1:28 a.m. local time, the KPU had made an official declaration of Jokowi winning the presidential election after the conclusion of the national vote tally.

The final tally indicated the Joko Widodo (Jokowi)-Maruf Amin pair had secured 85 million votes, or 55.5 percent of the national vote, as compared to contenders Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno's 68 million votes, or 44.5 percent.

The Jokowi-Amin pair had declared victory, while the Prabowo-Sandi pair rejected the KPU's official tabulation result and vowed to challenge it by filing an official complaint with the Constitutional Court (MK).